IT Recruitment Trends – Job Identification Channels

IT Employment Trends Research from Clarion Resourcing reveals that IT professionals use a variety of channels to identify job opportunities. Find out more. Our IT employment trends market survey was conducted online during October 2011 on a random sample of over 1,000 randomly-selected IT professionals from Clarion Resourcing’s permanent and contract career panel split roughly between 50:50% between contract and permanent candidates.

Our survey highlighted some very interesting trends in terms of where and how candidates identify their next opportunity. The growth of social media has been one of the biggest media phenomenons of recent years.  Industry and media commentators highlight the importance for companies to fully embrace social media and one might have expected that this was one of the most popular ways to identify new job opportunities.  However, we were somewhat surprised to find that social media ranked only fourth in terms of the channels candidates used to identify potential new roles. Agencies still ranked as the best source of identifying a new opportunity although we do acknowledge this finding may have been skewed somewhat by the source of our sample, which comes from an agency panel.

One interesting development was the preference for a direct or agency-led application process.  From a cost saving perspective, employers will be interested to hear that a minority of candidates were happy to apply direct when the opportunity presented itself, however the vast majority preferred to apply for a role using an agency partner to help them manage the process. The reasons for an agency-led approach were varied.  They ranged from greater market penetration, assistance with CV preparation, client-specific knowledge and assistance with the interview process.  Candidates also show a clear belief  – founded or otherwise – that they will get  better response rates from applications made through an agency partner than direct applications made through an employer’s website. There is a clear view among the candidate community that recruitment continues to be relationship-led; furthermore agencies continue to have a very significant role to play in facilitating the functioning of the market as holders of the key relationships with hiring clients and maximising an individual candidate’s exposure to the market when they engage in a job search.

In terms of other channels used by candidates, there were a number of findings which were contrary to what we would have expected.  One very interesting statistic is that 17% of candidates still identified word of mouth or their own network as the most likely source of new job opportunities. In practical terms this reflects Clarion Resourcing’s recent market experience where the applicants sourced via an internal referral has been a consistent feature of recruitment assignments in recent times. Word of mouth and a personal recommendation still rates above social media which came in at 16% for searches through tools such as LinkedIn and Twitter. The growth in social media has been explosive in recent years, however it is an interesting finding to see that  a candidates personal network and the vouching for a candidate  via the trusted referral of an employee is still valued above applications where no such imprimatur exists.

Other media sources such as radio advertising, outdoor advertising and advertising on public transport scored poorly in terms of their perceived success in helping a candidate find a new role.  Press advertising was also rated as a having very low probability of a successful outcome by our respondents, in terms of identifying a role. For example, less than 5 per cent of respondents reported a positive experience using press advertising as a job search channel.  While press advertising is undoubtedly still a very strong medium for the creation and development of brand awareness, clients should be aware than a response to a press advert is rated by candidates as having a very low success rate and consequently is unlikely to result in significant response volumes.

Another key finding with implications for how employers spend their advertising budget is that only 2 per cent of respondents reported positive outcomes from attendance at Careers or Jobs Fairs. These are all expensive media.  However, our research seems to indicate that there may be more effective ways to allocate limited marketing spend to attract candidates.

On November 28th, 2011, posted in: Blog by


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